Former Tory MPP Elizabeth Witmer
Credits: FILE PHOTO
But quitting the job Kitchener-Waterloo voters hired her to do less than seven months ago in return for a $188,000-a-year position courtesy of Premier Dalton McGuinty, up from her current pay of $131,119, is political opportunism at its worst.
It's the kind of thing that makes people so cynical about politics.
Why run in an election at all if you're going to jump ship barely half a year later at the behest of the leader of the party you just finished campaigning against as bad for Ontario?
Witmer has done a huge disservice to her fellow Tory MPPs, who are in it for the long haul, and stuck a knife in Progressive Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak for reasons known only to herself.
Her resignation also puts into play the balance of power in the Legislature since, should the Liberals recapture the seat she held for the Tories for 22 years, they would move from a minority to a majority government.
That means until the by-election is held - which McGuinty has up to six months to call - the focus of all three parties at Queen's Park will be on electioneering, not governing.
The fact McGuinty and the Liberals have been trolling for MPPs in the other parties to defect in their pursuit of a majority government isn't surprising.
What's surprising is Witmer's lack of political integrity in agreeing to become a willing accomplice to this strategy.
She's now the Belinda Stronach of Queen's Park, since the similarities between the two are numerous.
Like Stronach at the federal level, Witmer was a Red Tory who ran for the leadership of her party before stabbing it in the back, either by crossing the floor to the ruling Liberals (Stronach) or accepting a job from them (Witmer).
We thought Witmer, who served as a Progressive Conservative cabinet minister and under four Tory leaders, was made of more loyal stuff.
And that her final political act would have been more honourable than riding off into the sunset as McGuinty's head of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.